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Windows Server 2012 R2 ethernet throughput is very slow Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet

I'm running Windows Server 2012 R2 on a Dell Poweredge R320 Server with 16 GB of RAM that is being used as a file server (With some shared Access databases on it). The Server had Windows 2008 and I changed the OS to 2012 R2. The Link speed on the Nic card is 1Gbps (Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet)
I'm having an issue with the Ethernet throughput speed, it's running very slow, between 250 Kbps and 54 Mbps (but usually on the lower end). I've been hearing a lot of complaining about everything running very slow on the server.
I've already updated the drivers on the Nic Card and updated the firmware.

Any suggestions on how I can speed this up?
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revellej
Asked:
revellej
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2 Solutions
 
Cliff GaliherCommented:
That is a pretty wide variance, and usually when users complain about things running slow, it is more than just networking. I'd turn on some resource monitors and start looking for bottlenecks. LOB apps causing disk I/O, memory paging, or CPU spikes.
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revellejAuthor Commented:
I agree, That is a very wide variance. it usually runs in the Kbps but while I was writing the question, I saw it jump to "54 Mbps" but that's the 1st time I saw it do that. I've been watching it for about 5 min now and it's been staying in the Kbps.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Are you doing anything to specifically test/push the throughput or are you just watching the network monitor? Throughput in the kbps for idle background traffic is not abnormal.
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revellejAuthor Commented:
I'm just watching the network monitor. How can I test the actual throughput so that I can see what's really happening?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Watching the network monitor is definitely not a good way to measure maximum throughput. If no client is requesting data at the time of course the network card will be idle. So that is perfectly normal.

What you need is a way to push as much data over the network cable as possible. There are several utilities to do this. My tool of choice is called jperf. You run one instance on the server and another instance on another server or on a desktop so that they talk to each other and they push data as fast as possible. Then you'll hit the natural bottleneck of the line, wherever that is. It could be the slowest NIC, the slowest switch between the two points talking, or even the cabling itself (old Cat5 cable, for example, or cable with damaged/bad crimps.) Regardless, because it isn't relying on disk and usually isn't relying much on CPU, you can almost guarantee you'll hit the maximum possible bandwidth between the two points being tested. You may discover you don't even have a problem.
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revellejAuthor Commented:
Cliff, Thanks for the input. I'll give it a try and let you know how I make out.
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CaptainMidnightCommented:
If you were running only IPv4 on the 2008 server, and the OS is the only change you made, make sure that IPv6 is disabled at the network adapter settings on the new 2012 R2 server.

My guess is that the workstations probably have both IPv4 and IPv6 enabled by default (this is common.) When you installed the new 2012 R2 OS, IPv6 was enabled by default but never fully configured (e.g., IPv6 DHCP, DNS, and AD) because you weren't using IPv6 on the 2008 server.

The incompletely configured new server will first send data on IPv6 and the workstations may even try to respond on IPv6. Since the new server never gave the proper IPv6 settings to the workstations, they try IPv6, time out, then respond again on IPv4, slowing things down to a total crawl.

Turning off IPv6 on the server will force all communications to use IPv4 as before - at least until you set up IPv6 correctly on the new server.
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revellejAuthor Commented:
One of the first things that was done after setting up the 2012 r2 server was disable IPV6. were going to disable IPV6 on the workstations today and see if that makes a difference.
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revellejAuthor Commented:
Cliff, I ran jperf on the server along with another instance on my computer and like you said, I found that there is no problem and the throughput is very good. Thank you for the suggestion. I'll keep that tool in my bag of tricks.

CaptainMidnight, I disabled IPV6 through Group Policy (on the Default Domain Policy) and will check it out tomorrow after it gets picked up by all the computers to see if it makes a difference.
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CaptainMidnightCommented:
Is there more than one Ethernet port on this server (i.e., is this a dual port NIC or is there a separate, second port of any speed)?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
I guess I'm confused. Isn't this question resolved? Jperf showed the NIC bandwidth is where it is supposed to be, and since it ises the networking stack of the OS, it shows the OS networking (drivers, TCP stack, etch) is also working. Which was the original question...
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CaptainMidnightCommented:
Well, you are right in that you provided a tool so the OP could determine with certainty that one 1 Gigabit Ethernet port can perform at full speed to the administrator's own workstation, but the OP's original question was how to get better throughput to the users who are sharing Access databases and are complaining that everything is running slower than before the OS change on the server.

I acknowledge that there could be other bottlenecks inside the server, but the OP only mentioned an OS change, not hardware changes. With all else being the same, that indicates to me that there is most likely a communications configuration issue.

jperf communicates between specific IP addresses. There could still be name resolution issues if there are multiple Ethernet ports configured on the server. (I asked about additional ports instead of NICs because the Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet series card comes in several versions, including a dual port version.)

Can you think of any other server subsystems that would cause the same shared database files on the same hardware that are being accessed from the same user workstations more slowly after an OS upgrade? Frankly, I'm suspecting that some kind of communications configuration setting was missed in the upgrade,
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CaptainMidnightCommented:
@revellej

Any updates?
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revellejAuthor Commented:
Cliff Galiher, The jperf tool proved to me that everything was working as it should be and there were no problems.

CaptainMidnight, By disabling  IPV6 through group policy, I am know able to verify through the registry that it is truly disabled.

Both of these solutions were of tremendous  help to me.
Although I have not been able to confirm that the speed to the shared databases has improved, after a few days I have not heard any more complaints from the users.

Thank you both very much for helping me out with this issue.
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CaptainMidnightCommented:
@revellej  Glad to hear that the complaints have stopped. We all know how frustrating it can be to hear and have to troubleshoot such vague, subjective complaints such as "everything is running very slow"!
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Larryl79Commented:
I've got HP DL360 G5 and windows basicly install "Broadcomm nextrem II"
but when I downloaded driver from HP and installed it, now Shows "HP NC373i Multifunction Gigabit Server adapter"
so Im just guessing, maybe a driver from hp website dosen't help?!
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